From the monthly archives: "January 2004"

Originally published on Written by Chris Ayers.

Philadelphia’s Chromelodeon are a mostly instrumental progressive-rock octet (!) that almost defies belief. Part C Average, part Queen’s Flash Gordon, and part King Crimson’s In The Wake Of Poseidon, In The Year 20XX straddles the fence between prattling cartoons and prodigious artistry and ends up creating a sprawling epic for the Micronaut universe – yep, Time Traveler, Acroyear, Baron Karza, and the whole crew of that obscure ’70s toy line. “Wily’s Castle” is a prologue of sorts to a mounting battle of good and evil, with sweeping synthesizer passages and snare marches. The six-minute “Mysteriousness: Outer Space” continues the rising action à la Crimson’s Starless And Bible Black, then slips around Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. “Voder” is a terse, synth-driven piece that approaches but does not encroach upon IV-era F**king Champs. Like Rush’s “Hemispheres”, the twelve-minute closer “Eloquence Is Dead” is divided into movements: the first part is pure metallic rock peppered with death-metal vocals and melodic vocoder-delivered lyrics, the latter of which is surely inspired by Time-era Electric Light Orchestra; the second reprises the battle march as a prelude to war; the third is a quiet, Yes-styled interlude, followed by a Mr. Bungle-like accordion episode; and the finale includes said march and a big violin finish. Prog rock for the Nintendo generation, Chromelodeon are a true find and are everything you need for galactic battle adventures with old Star Wars figures.

Originally published on in December 2003/January 2004. Written by Alex Llama.

Chromelodeon is an 8-piece Philadelphia group that plays mostly-instrumental rock. Their fondness for science fiction comes through in their work, from the cartoonish cover art to the spacey keyboards and sound effects. They take the grandiose and epic feel of power metal and channel it into outer space. (AL)

Originally published on  Written by John Venvertloh.

One of the things I like to do when I review an artist’s music is get to know them as much as possible. Different bands have different information available in their press kits and on their web sites. It’s both interesting to see the artists and find out what they are thinking. Chromelodeon made that nearly impossible because of the limited info they made available. So I can tell you they’re an 8 piece epic rock group from the Philly (PA) area. (If this sounds like a complaint, I’m sorry. It’s not meant to be.) Based on what is on the web site, if Weird Al played epic rock, his band might look like these guys. They even have an accordion player!!

With so little to go on, the music will have to, er, “speak” for itself. Which is interesting because the CD has four instrumental songs on it. Still not much to go on… The sound is definitely epic rock: lots of big soundscapes, tempo and key changes, different instrumentation, and so on. It’s really very good and I like it a lot. I hear some similarities to Todd Rundgren’s Utopia in a couple of the songs although I wouldn’t say they particularly sound like Utopia. The fact that it’s all instrumental forced me to interpret the music myself. In one sense it’s like a lot of electronica, where the listener has to infer from the title and the sound what the artist might be trying to say. In another sense, and this is really what I came away from the CD feeling more deeply, it’s a lot like listening to a movie soundtrack album when you haven’t seen the movie. I can tell when things are changing but I can’t tell what’s happening. It’s not an altogether bad feeling. I guess I’m just not used to getting it from an epic rock CD!

Did I mention I like the music? I did? Okay, good! I think the CD will appeal to a fairly large audience, not just epic rock fans. Fans of most styles of rock should be able to get into it. Theatrical metal fans could find this CD enjoyable as a change of pace from their normal listening. The band offers a sample on the web site. Check it out.
Key track: mysteriousness: outer space

Originally published on on January 9, 2004.  Written by Mike Baker.

We all remember the final battle of Transformers: The Movie, don’t we? Orson Welles’s star-turn as the all-powerful Unicron, a force so terrible the Autobots and Decepticons most join in battle to save the world? Ringing any bells? The guys in Chromelodeon don’t need to be reminded — they seem hell-bent on scoring and re-scoring the final battle sequence with their brand of instrumental space rock. The not-so-futuristically named “Wily’s Castle” could be offered as evidence to support such a claim.
But wait. Maybe it’s not a Transformers fixation — could it be that these guys have their Rush albums in the disc-changer on permanent repeat? “Mysteriousness: Outer Space” seems to fit the bill, though it eventually turns into balls-out rocker that would make Voivod proud.

Nope. It’s a Transformers thing — the synth-charged “Voder” is all the proof I need. And the meandering “Eloquence Is Dead” is just icing on the cake. (Watch for the Pink Floyd-inspired choir of voices — it’s way cooler than it should be.) Thanks, Chromelodeon — you’ve just given me and all my film geek friends a new alternate soundtrack to our Transformers collections. “Destruction to Autobots!”
— Mike Baker